Historic residence of the Counts of Geneva in the 13th century, then of the Counts of Savoie in the 15th century, the town became the capital of Savoie with the prerogative of Genevois-Nemours including the Genevois , Faucigny and Beaufortain from 1434 to 1659 .
Its religious role intensified in 1536 , during the Calvinist Reformation; while the bishop of Geneva took refuge there, François de Sales made it an advanced citadel of the Catholic Counter-Reformation , earning him the nickname " Rome of the Alps". The Treaty of Turin led to the Annexation of the Duchy of Savoy connecting the city to France in 1860 during the reign of Napoleon III .
The “ Venice of the Alps” refers to the rivers (Vassé canal, Saint Dominique and Thiou canal) which protected the city, then brought hydraulic power to textile crafts, gradually giving way to industrialization in the 19th century .
In the 20th century, the tourist sector benefited from the renowned purity of the alpine air and the lake, the surrounding winter sports, the conservation of green spaces and a cultural heritage in the process of renovation. The tourist-cultural turning point began in 1960 with the organization of the international animated film festival of Annecy and the lake festival each attracting a hundred thousand visitors each summer.